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Raising funds for leukemia fight

The only thing that could interfere with Lavelle Pinkett’s work ethic was leukemia. When the disease started to get the best of him, his supervisors at the Red Cross had to insist he take some time off, said co-worker Jessica Socola. Pinkett is a driver for the nonprofit organization.

“He is such a hard worker, one of the hardest workers we have,” Socola said. “He’s just down to earth, and he’s always doing stuff for others.”

When she and Pinkett’s other co-workers learned of his illness, they started planning a fundraiser and bone marrow-registration drive.

“He didn’t ask for it. He never complains. We wanted to help him,” Socola said.

Pinkett, a Washington resident, has myelodysplasia, a form of leukemia, and needs a bone-marrow transplant to fight the disease.

The registration drive is set from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday from at Fire Station 2, 2064 W. 15th St.

Socola said the registration includes a free bone-marrow test.

“The registration is quick and painless,” she said. “They just swab the inside of your mouth.”

Socola also will be selling dinner plates. For $7 a plate, patrons have the option of a chicken or barbecue plate. A plate comes with two sides, a roll, a slice of cake (made by Pinkett’s mother) and a beverage. For an extra dollar, patrons may get a combination plate of chicken and barbecue.

All proceeds will go to Pinkett to cover his time away from work and his medical expenses.

To make a donation, visit the fire station Saturday or go to www.giveforward.com/goteamlavelle. For more information, contact Socola at socolajessica@yahoo.com.